OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Stillwater did not wilt after facing an early six-run deficit, but Park was able to work out of a sticky situation in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 9-8 Suburban East Conference softball victory over the Ponies on Monday at Stillwater Area High School.
It was the first loss of the season for the Ponies (3-1 SEC, 3-1), who trailed 6-0 after two innings and 9-4 going into the bottom of the fourth.
Stillwater rallied with a run in the fourth and scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to climb within 9-8 before the Wolfpack recoreded the final out.
Natalie Ingram and Lauren Jordan drew walks to help spark the Ponies in the seventh before freshman Emma Murphy — in her first-ever varsity at bat — drove a two-run triple to the fence in right field. Brinna Dochniak followed with an RBI single, one of three successful pinch hits for Stillwater in the inning, before a groundout stranded the potential tying and winning runs on first and second.
“We showed real good character, especially with the tough conditions out there,” Ponies coach Bob Beedle said. “Even with the windchill, we stayed in the game and mounted a comeback and had the tying run on second, but came up a little short. We have to come out ready to play when the first pitch is thrown. We’ve proven we have the kind of character that can battle back when facing adversity.”
Murphy also helped keep Stillwater in the game with five solid innings in relief of starter Rachel Hartwig. Murphy allowed three runs in the fourth, but blanked Park over the last four innings in her first varsity appearance.
“Other than the fourth, she gave us five innings of well-pitched softball, which is a good sign,” Beedle said.
Hartwig suffered her first loss of the season after giving up five hits and six runs in two innings.
“I think that’s the most runs scored against us in the first two innings that I can remember,” Beedle said. “That is highly unusual for that to happen, but it was bone-chilling cold with the wind blowing and I think we may have been under dressed there on the mound. It’s the same for both teams, but it’s hard to get a ball to bite when it’s that cold. They were able to hit first and got on top of us right away.
“The fact that we did battle back from a 6-0 deficit shows we have a lot of character.”
Hartwig delivered an RBI double in Stillwater’s four-run third inning and Natalie Gerber singled to plate two more runs. Lauren Jordan later plated Gerber with a base hit. Gerber also came through with an RBI double in the fourth, but the Ponies left runners on second and third.
“There were a couple opportunities for us to score more runs, but we didn’t get key hits,” Beedle said.
Park, meanwhile, was more efficient while stranding just four baserunners in the entire game. Eight of the nine runs by the Wolfpack were scored from the first four batters in the lineup.
Park3 3 0 3 0 0 0— 9100
Still0 0 4 1 0 0 3—813 3
WP: Amber Galloway 5-ip, 10-h, 5-r, 5-er, 3-bb, 3-so
LP: Rachel Hartwig (3-1) 2-ip, 5-h, 6-r, 5-er, 2-bb, 1-so
Leading hitters: Par, Victoria Bade 2×3, Amber Galloway 2×4 and Molly Swanson 2×4; St, Carlie Hart 3×5, Lauren Greeder 1×5, Rachel Hartwig 1×3, Natalie Gerber 2×4 (2 RBI), Lauren Jordan 2×3, Sidnee Ronsberg 1×4, Emma Murphy 1×1, Brinna Dochniak 1×1 and Morgan Conley 1×1.
Stillwater 12, Mounds View 1 (5 inn.)
At Oak Park Heights, the Ponies jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings and didn’t let up while breezing past Mounds View 12-1 in five innings on Friday in a Suburban East Conference game at Stillwater Area High School.
It was the first game of the season for the Mustangs, and Stillwater (3-0 SEC, 3-0) took advantage while knocking 11 hits, including two each from Carlie Hart, Lauren Greeder, Natalie Gerber and Natalie Ingram.
“We had hits from a lot of different angles in our lineup,” Ponies coach Bob Beedle said. “The kids were patient adn our pitch selection was good.”
Rachel Hartwig remained unbeaten in three starts this seasons, allowing just three hits and finishing with four strikeouts. The Mustangs scored their lone run in the top of the first, but Hartwig blanked them the rest of the way.
“We played solid defense and Hartwig had a good performance,” Beedle said. “It was Mounds View’s first game so we may have had the good fortune of having a couple games under our belt.
M. View1 0 0 0 0— 1 32
Stillwater3 3 1 5 x—12111
WP: Rachel Hartwig (3-0) 5-ip, 3-h, 1-r, 1-er, 0-bb, 4-so
LP: Carissa Struve 3-ip, 9-h, 10-r, 9-er, 4-bb, 2-so
Leading hitters: MV, Ashley Linn 2×2; St, Carlie Hart 2×3 (2 runs, RBI), Lauren Greeder 2×2 (2 runs, RBI), Rachel Hartwig 1×2, Natalie Gerber 2×2 (2 runs, 3 RBI), Natalie Ingram 2×3 (4 RBI), Sidnee Ronsberg 1×3 (RBI) and Molly Frisch 1×1.